GIS: Introduction and Principles

Fall 2023
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
4 Credits per quarter
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This course is designed for students who are beginning their study of the rapidly growing profession of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  GIS is used worldwide for analyzing geography and for making and publishing maps on the web. GIS is an essential technology for connecting scientists with social and business leaders, in government agencies and corporations and non-profits.

While learning the techniques of map making, students in this course will be exposed to new ways of thinking about the geography of the physical landscape and human social and policy issues. Each week, a hands-on lab exercise will guide students through the process of integrating data into maps that communicate geographic ideas and concepts. Progressively more sophisticated labs provide practical demonstration of the principles of geography, such as how coordinate systems are designed, how to manipulate map distortion, and what kinds of map symbols are best for various types of data layers.

Students will learn how use ArcGIS software (created by Esri, Inc).  ArcGIS is the global leader in computerized geography and is used in nearly every federal, state, county, and city agency, and increasingly in businesses and non-profit organizations.  Evergreen will assign a license to the ArcGIS software (at no cost) to use for this course. The license also provides access to massive libraries of online data, and methods for collaboration, through sharing of maps in interactive apps and story maps.

This course is the first required course of the GIS Certification sequence, and satisfies the prerequisites for students who wish to continue taking the GIS courses that lead to the Evergreen GIS Certificate. 


Fall 2023 Registration

Academic details


This offering is connected to the undergraduate Geographic Information Systems Certificate at Evergreen. For more information visit:

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In Person
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